Saturday, September 22, 2012

Montreal RNR 10k goals

As think about my goals for this race, I can't help but thinking about the half marathon that it was supposed to be. Part of me is sad and disappointed, but most of me is kind of relieved because work has become so crazy that a half marathon right now would probably finish me. As it is, I am looking forward to the break that a fun 10k will give me.

And when I say fun, I mean some serious fun. Besides the fact that it's a Rock N Roll series event, and I'm double dipping on expos this weekend by going to the Army Run expo yesterday (twice!) even though I'm not running it, and there will be a sea of Team in Training members there, I've decided to go all out on my race outfit. I'm running with the RNR theme, busting out the sparkle skirt, the sparkle headband, and my collection of running themed temporary tattoos that have been waiting for a chance just like this one. Stay tuned for pictures!

My main goal for this race is pretty simple- don't fall apart at the end. I was reading through some old race reports today and thinking about past races, and a theme became pretty clear- regardless of the distance, I would slow down in the last 10% or so. I would get tired, hurting, exhausted, ready to finish and I would wuss out. I'm not letting that happen this time. I am going to get out of my head and push to the finish. I have stacked the second half of my playlist with power tunes and the last 10 minutes are my favorite running song (Ali in the Jungle by The Hours) on repeat. I am going to smash through my mental wall.

As far as times, my number one goal is to bust through the 1:10 mark. I was so close at my last race until i hit the above mentioned mental wall. In the past I have done ABC goals but I'm finding it more and more difficult to put my time goals into words that way. I will try though with this race and say:

  • C goal - under 1:11:30 (close to my old PB)
  • B goal - under 1:10:24 (get a new PB)
  • A goal - under 1:10
  • A+ goal - 1:09:xx (smash that old PB!)
We are on the road to Montreal now, less than two hours in the car to go. Seems so close after all those races in Toronto! I'm looking forward to hitting up the expo and visiting with a friend from university who we are crashing with tonight. Then hoping for a solid night of sleep before rocking my way through a solid e tomorrow!


Good luck to everyone running this weekend, especially everyone in Montreal and Ottawa as well as my fellow Team Tough Chik and Team in Training friends!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fundraiser: Outdoor Yoga at the Arboretum!

I'm pretty excited!  I have planned and scheduled my first fundraiser for Team in Training (outside of begging everyone I know for money).  A yoga instructor I know has volunteered her time to lead a pay-what-you-can yoga class!

We will be having the yoga class outdoors in mid-October.  I'm praying for good weather because I didn't plan a rain date.  :-)  I love fall time and I think this will be a lovely event.  Fingers crossed for a warm fall day and a good turnout!

If you are in Ottawa and want more info, let me know.  I would love to see you there!

Monday, September 17, 2012

TNT Report: Week One

I am going to try and share my progress with all of you on a weekly basis, in terms of both my fundraising and training.  I would appreciate any suggestions you have for either, and maybe someone will learn something from me too!


My training schedule is Sunday-Saturday so that's what I'll be sharing each week.

My runs this week:

  • Sunday - LSD run, 8k - My schedule called for less but I have the Montreal RNR 10k coming up so I'm still on that training plan somewhat.  This run felt great, finished in just over an hour.
  • Tuesday - Tempo, 4k - I looked forward to this run ALL DAY and then it kind of sucked.  I just didn't have any juice in my legs.  Ended up being more of another slow run, finishing in about 33 mins.
  • Saturday - Steady 3.9k - This was supposed to be 3k but this route is easy to access, close to home.  This run felt much better than Tuesday's of about the same distance, finishing in about 27 mins.
I skipped my hill workout on Thursday to drink wine after a long day and week.  I actually wrote "WINE" over my workout on my schedule.  Hey, it happens.

As far as injuries, this week my popliteal muscle on the right side was tight.  My chiropractor beat it up with Graston for a bit and that helped a lot.  My shin split on the left is almost all healed up, though there is still a little ache once and a while.


As of today, I'm at $1,102.00!  That's over 20% of my goal of $5,000.00.  So far I have sent out a lot of emails to friends and family - with more to come - and worked at a "celebrity packer" fundraiser (that brought me $102.00 for about four hours of work - not bad!)  I have also pledged myself $105.00.

In the works I have a pay-what-you-can yoga class and a virtual run.  I am also going to talk to a couple of my favourite restaurants about doing fundraisers there and I'm going to look into having a giveaway here on the site either as a stand alone or as part of the virtual run.

For the virtual run, I would love your feedback.  What price would you be willing to pay?  What would you expect in return (e.g. t-shirt, bling, etc.)  Would you be more likely to sign up if there was a giveaway attached or would you do it just in exchange for something like bling?

If you would like to donate to Team in Training, I would really appreciate it!  The link for my fundraising page is (get it?  Tinkerbell Half?  Team in Training?) and there is a button and progress bar in my sidebar as well.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Getting Started

This weekend was my own personal unofficial kick off of my Team in Training adventure.

Yesterday I participated in my very first group fundraising event.  Even though I am on the Flex team, which means I'm doing everything "virtually", I am still able to connect with our local TNT group to do fundraising and training.  Yesterday I joined them at a local outdoors store where we were "celebrity packers".  We worked at the cash tills, packing purchases, telling people about TNT and asking for donations.

I was there for about four hours and it was both inspiring and exhausting.  It was a great kickstart for my fundraising.  I talked to what felt like hundreds of people and most left at least a dollar or two in the box.  It was really amazing the difference between having just a donation box there and having someone at the cash to tell people what it was for.  I do not know yet how much we raised, and it will be divided amongst everyone who worked the fundraiser over the past few days, but I think we did well.  There was also a woman there who gave $5 while telling me that her daughter had had leukemia and was fine now, and how important research is.

Today I wrote my fundraising letter and sent it to my staff member to review.  Once I have a polished copy, I will be sending it out to everyone I can possibly think of.  I will likely share it here as well.

Lastly on the fundraising front, there is no official TNT widget for blogs so I made my own progress bar for the side (look over there on the left).  Now you can easily see how my fundraising is going and access my fundraising page.  I purchased a domain to use so I could share my fundraising page more easily -  If you want info on purchasing a domain or setting up a progress bar for your fundraising, let me know!  I'd be happy to help.

Today I also officially started my training, although I changed it up a bit already because I have a 10k race coming up in a couple weeks that I want to be ready for.  I ran an 8k LSD today and really enjoyed the cooler weather.  I thought about TNT a lot, and every time I wanted to slow down I motivated myself by reminding myself what I am doing, who I am doing it for, and that blood cancer treatments are a lot harder than a little easy run.

I am feeling super motivated today, in terms of both fundraising and training.  I hope this feeling lasts through the next 19 weeks without fail!

If you'd like to sponsor me for Team in Training, I would really appreciate it!  You can visit my fundraising page by clicking here.  As said above, I am working on my fundraising letter now and plan to offer the opportunity to have a loved one's name on my race day outfit with a minimum donation.  I will share that amount once I have a final decision on the amount.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

This is bigger than me.

Yesterday I took the plunge and made the commitment to join Team in Training, to raise over $4,000 to  fight blood cancers and support patients and families, and to complete the Tinkerbell Half Marathon!

I had some moments of uncertainty about whether I had made the right choice.  But after some reassurance from The American and about a hundred emails from the Flex program co-ordinator, I got very excited again.  I started listening to the first fundraising conference call and even signed up for my first group fundraiser (this weekend!).  I found out there are three other women in Ottawa signed up for the Tinkerbell Half through Flex, and I'm excited about meeting them, and hopefully fundraising with and training with them.

As you can tell from this blog, I have completed two half marathons before, including being lucky enough for my first half to be with Run Disney in Walt Disney World - the Princess Half Marathon.  I have the opportunity to return to the Princess Half this year so I must admit that my initial motivation in wanting to run the Tinkerbell Half was the chance to get the Coast to Coast medal.  But the more I thought about joining Team in Training, I realized that this is bigger than me.

I could sign up for the Tinkerbell Half through a travel agent.  I could get a spot right now without putting in any extra work as far as fundraising or team building or working for a cause.  I could easily pull out my credit card and go to this event on my own, for not much more expense than a regular registration.  But the more I thought about that compared to Team in Training, the more I realized that that's not how I want to do this.  On Tuesday, I tweeted:

And on Wednesday I made the commitment.  I filled out the information, I clicked those buttons on the webpage, and suddenly this isn't just about me anymore.  I don't have a story - I am blessed to not have a personal connection to blood cancers right now.  But I know many people who do have stories, and I know many more people that I don't know yet have stories.  I will run for all of them, for all of you, for all the people I will never meet.

I must admit that this is terrifying.  I know I can run a half marathon - I never thought I would say that THAT'S the easy part of all of this.  I don't know if I can raise +$4,000 in four months.  I am scared that I will make the commitment, tell everyone I know I will be running this thing, and fail somewhere along the way.  But I'm going to dream big on this one, because if everyone stayed home because they were too scared we wouldn't get anywhere.  There are people in the world who will never have this opportunity, for so many different reasons, and I count myself lucky that I have this chance to make a difference.

Stay tuned for my fundraising efforts.  In the meantime, if you want to donate right now, please visit my fundraising page.  For more information about Team in Training, check out their site.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What colour was your breakfast?

Sometimes you just need a light, silly and short post to start a short week that will feel long as we all head back to the grind!

Last night I made overnight oats to eat this morning.  I put the last of our frozen blueberries in the bottom of the dish, and when I stirred it all up the whole thing turned blue!  (Maybe purple?)  I figured it would be delicious either way and put it in the fridge.  I dreamed about it all night.  (That might be an exaggeration, but I was excited.)

Turns out my oats were not so delicious.  I think I put in too many oats.  The recipe called for equal parts oats, milk and yogurt, but it looked so runny!  I thought it was from the moisture from the melting blueberries so I threw in more oats.  I think that was a big error.  This morning my oats are kind of dry and pasty.  Sad.

Do you eat overnight oats?  What are your tips and favourite combos?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Team in Training and the Tinkerbell Half?

As I make my way back into running more regularly, and having pain free runs more often, I'm letting myself dream just a little bit about what I might do with my running next year.  I've already decided I want to do a triathlon, but I also want something to do in the winter.

Today I was thinking about the Tinkerbell Half Marathon which is held at Disneyland.  I've always wanted to go to Disneyland.  I must admit that my thinking about this race started because it would be a great way to get my Run Disney Coast to Coast medal - much better than training through another possibly very hot summer to do the Disneyland Half next September.  But then a quick internet search reminded me - this race sold out ages ago.

Then my mind turned to something else - what about a Team in Training race?  Team in Training is active in both the US and Canada, and raises funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  I began to think that my running could become something bigger than me.  And another quick search showed me that I could run the Tinkerbell Half Marathon with Team in Training!  This is beginning to sound good to me.

I am going to get some more information about Team in Training and the specifics about doing this event from Ottawa.  I know at this point that it's only available through their Flex program, which involves training on my own and having access to coaches and support online and by phone instead of in person.  Once I know more about the fundraising, etc. I am going to make my decision, probably this week.

Have you run with Team in Training?  Have you participated in their Flex program?  What are your thoughts and tips?

If you would like more info on Team in Training, check out the US website here and the Canadian site here.